More Kristof, More Iran
As a follow-up to my posts on important changes in Iran, take a look at Nicholas Kristof's ongoing series in today's NY Times. In"Velvet Hand, Iron Glove," Kristof inadvertently makes a Hayekian-friendly point about how the radical dispersal of knowledge and information is contributing to the unraveling of a repressive regime. As people get information from sources other than the regime, that regime becomes more unstable. The Iranian press may not be"free," but the proliferation of the Internet, blogs, and satellite TV is having an insidious effect on the regime's legitimacy.
As Kristof puts it, if the Iranian theocracy constituted
an efficient police state, it might survive. But it's not. It cracks down episodically, tossing dissidents in prison and occasionally even murdering them (like a Canadian-Iranian journalist last year). But Iran doesn't control information—partly because satellite television is ubiquitous, if illegal—and people mostly get away with scathing criticism as long as they do not organize against the government.
Kristof continues to maintain
that the Iranian regime is destined for the ash heap of history. An unpopular regime can survive if it is repressive enough, but Iran's hard-liners don't imprison their critics consistently enough to instill terror. ... In the end, I find Iran a hopeful place. Ordinary people are proving themselves irrepressible, and they will triumph someday and forge a glistening example of a Muslim country that is a pro-American democracy in the Middle East.
comments powered by Disqus
- Why Trump Would Almost Certainly Be Violating the Constitution If He Continues to Own His Businesses
- Remembering Pearl Harbor Brings ‘Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ to Virtual Reality
- Will Trump back women’s museum?
- New scholarship coming to Mormon lessons, but will instructors really teach it?
- Why the history of slavery in the US South is taking centre stage once again
- Novelist says History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump
- National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is youngest in 30 years in the non-fiction category
- Historian Volker Ullrich’s book on the rise of Hitler is spookily relevant
- People are still talking about historian Mark Lilla’s NYT op ed 2 weeks after it was published
- Rick Perlstein says Trump’s election confirms a paranoid trend in the GOP